PURPOSE. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) have been implicated in the regulation of outflow resistance of aqueous humor flow through the trabecular meshwork (TM). Their role was further investigated by assessment of the effects of chlorate, an inhibitor of sulfation, and β-xyloside, which provides a competitive nucleation point for addition of disaccharide units, in anterior segment perfusion culture. METHODS. Outflow facility was measured in perfused porcine and human anterior organ cultures treated with 20 or 50 mM sodium chlorate, or 1 mM β-xyloside. Perturbation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components was assessed in paraffin-embedded sections by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Parallel experiments were conducted on cultured TM cells. RESULTS. Outflow facility increased in porcine eyes with chlorate (3-fold) and β-xyloside (3.5-fold) treatments. In human eyes, outflow increased approximately 1.5-fold and took longer (>48 hours) to occur. By confocal microscopy, immunostaining for chondroitin and heparan sulfates was observed on edges of human TM beams in nontreated eyes, with intense staining in the juxtacanalicular tissue (JCT) region. In treated eyes, staining of beam edges was severely reduced and was instead found in plaques. Chlorate treatment resulted in a striated pattern of GAG staining in the human JCT region. Fibronectin immunostaining was altered in β-xyloside-treated eyes, whereas in cell culture, chlorate induced formation of thick fibronectin fibrils, to which tenascin C colocalized. CONCLUSIONS. Disrupting GAG chain biosynthesis increased outflow facility in perfusion culture and induced atypical ECM molecule interactions in cell culture. This study provides direct evidence of the critical role of GAG chains in regulating outflow resistance in human TM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience